SOG Woodline Hunting Knife Review

The story of SOG’s inception began in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit carried a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions.

This special unit was known as MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group) and its existence was once wholeheartedly denied by the US Government.

Today, SOG’s mission is to be the creators of the most distinctive gear; gear made especially for adventurous people who like to “live on the edge”. Also, their vision is to design and create gear of the highest quality, distinction, and value that delivers what consumers need and, in order to do so, always define the leading edge of technology.

Consequently, with their extensive experience in designing and building tactical knives for soldiers and civilians alike, SOG decided to turn their attention to the creation of a dedicated hunting knife and thus, they designed the SOG Woodline.

This knife features an overall length of 10 1/2 inches with a 4 3/4” trailing point blade (please note that the SOG web site lists this blade shape as a Clip Point but it is WRONG!!!) made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel  hardened to 57-58 Rockwell. It also features a laminated wood handle with what appears to be a stainless steel bolster and a single finger groove with a miniscule sub-hilt. Last, the knife is supplied with a heavy-duty leather sheath.

Now, please note that in this next section, since I am specifically writing about a hunting knife, I am going to be talking about the explicit details of removing the hide from a harvested game animal and thus, I will need to be somewhat graphic. However, forewarned is forearmed and thus, continue reading at your own discretion.

So, first it is important to be aware that different blade shapes tend to lend themselves to skinning certain types of game animals.

For instance, the clip point and the drop point blade shapes, which are the two most popular blade shapes, are far better suited to removing the hide from animals whose skin is loosely attached to the muscle tissue via a thin membrane such as whitetail and mule deer.

However, for removing the hide from animals with tightly attached hides such as feral hogs and wild boars, a SOG Specialty Knives and Tools WD01-L Woodline, Large Fixed is far more useful.

The reason that I make this statement is that in order to skin a deer or similar animal, after making the initial cuts around and down the legs and along the abdomen, then the skin can be lifted and the thin membrane between the skin and muscle can be easily sliced.

Thus, a knife with a forward-pointed tip makes it easier to perform this action with.

However, after making the initial cuts on a hog or boar, the skin must then be literally carved away from the carcass and thus, you tend to use the entire belly of the edge rather than just the tip of it. This is why a knife with a tailing point blade is more fitted for this type of gaming animal than drop point or clip point blades.

In addition, the 4 3/4” blade length on the SOG Woodline Hunting Knife is absolutely perfect for this use since it is short enough to provide good control but is also just long enough to present plenty of cutting edge.

The 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade is a good choice, if not a fantastic choice, for a hunting knife blade since it contains 0.8% Carbon which makes a fairly hard high carbon steel with a 13% Chromium content which just barely qualifies it as a stainless steel (requires 12.5% Chromium to qualify as stainless).

The blade also contains 0.40% Manganese, 0.15% Molybdenum, and 0.20% Nickel which serve to toughen steel and increase hardeness. Plus, it also contains 0.10% Vanadium which helps to produce a fine grain during heat treat.

Also, it improves wear resistance and refines the gain of the steel for better toughness and the ability to sharpen the steel to a very keen edge. In fact, many people report that they are able to get knives using steels that contain Vanadium sharper than they can non-Vanadium steels such as ATS-34.

Last, while not as fancy as some burl and exotic woods, the laminated wood handles on the SOG Woodline are very tough and will rival Micarta and G-10 for their durability.

Consequently, like all SOG knives, the Woodline hunting knife is a very well designed and strongly built knife that incorporates a good choice of materials for the intended purpose. Plus, with a reasonable price, it is an easily affordable knife that would serve well as both a main hunting knife and as an EDC back-up.

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